Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard from the Word of God, the story of the Great Flood that happened during the early history of mankind, which came about due to the sins and wickedness committed by man, so much so that out of all humanity, only Noah and his immediate family alone were considered righteous and just. Then in the Gospel passage today, the Lord reminded His disciples of everything He had done in the past two miracles He performed in feeding five thousand men and four thousand men respectively.
Through these Scripture readings, the Lord wanted to remind us that while we may be so stubborn and hard-hearted in refusing to accept Him and His truth, in our constant disobedience and rebellion against His will, He still remembers us and wants us to be reconciled to Him. He loved us all even when we disobeyed Him and ignored Him from time to time, again and again. Of course there is a limit to God’s patience, and if we continued on to reject Him, eventually it will be too late for us. But meanwhile, God keeps on trying to reach out to us.
To that extent, He has rescued Noah and his family, and entrusted to him the future of man, when He wiped the world clean of all the wickedness of the other sons and daughters of mankind, all who have consistently and persistently rejected God and His patient offer of mercy and love. He wanted to show us that He does not condemn us because we are human beings, but rather it was because of our sins that we have been condemned for.
He rescued Noah and instructed him to build the Ark because in the end of the day, it was not His desire to see us mankind being destroyed. However, at the same time, our sins and wickedness are great obstacles and barriers that prevent us from finding our way towards the Lord. As long as we persist in our sinful and rebellious ways, we will be constantly resisting Him, rejecting Him and abandoning Him for all sorts of worldly pursuits, ambitions and desires.
In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord Jesus speaking to His disciples with regards to the miracles He performed in feeding the five thousand men and four thousand men respectively, in which He fed the people until fully satisfied with just five loaves of bread and two fishes in the former, and seven loaves of bread in the latter, revealing that truly He loved His people that He wanted to take care of them and provide for them, and that was why He asked His disciples if they truly had believed in Him in whatever He had done before them.
Many of the people, including even the disciples were still lacking in faith, and they had not fully put their trust in the Lord either. As a result, they failed to appreciate the full meaning of the miraculous things that had happened before them. The Lord wanted them all to know that the love He has for them endures, and He patiently waited for all of us to return to Him and to be reconciled to Him. But we must allow Him to reach out to us and to touch us in our lives. He has given us plenty of opportunities and chances to do this, and it is unfortunately we who procrastinate, unwilling to commit and unwilling to follow Him.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, tomorrow we mark the beginning of the season of Lent, a time of reflection and recollection of our lives. During this period of holy reconciliation, we have been given yet another opportunity to be thankful for the Lord and all that He had done for us. Had He not intervened for our sake and devoted Himself to rescue us from our predicament, we would have perished and be consigned to eternal damnation.
Instead, God emptied and humbled Himself by becoming a Man, and reached out to us through His loving Cross, not just in feeding the multitudes of men and women with bread, but with the Bread of His own Precious Body and Blood, that Bread of Life broken for us and given to us freely, and the Lamb of God, sacrificed and offered for our sake, for the atonement of our sins.
In this upcoming season of Lent, we are all called once again to recall the great love of God which He has generously extended upon us. He has never wavered in His commitment to us, and if only we put our trust and faith in Him, we shall not be disappointed. That is why we have to make good use of this time of Lent to prepare ourselves wholeheartedly and turn with a new spirit and love towards God.
May the Lord be our strength and may He guide us in our journey, that He will help us to persevere well against all the temptations and challenges that may come our way. Let us all commit ourselves to the Covenant that God has made with us out of love, His most generous love, and prepare ourselves, heart and mind that we may make best use of this season of Lent to be ever closer to God. Amen.